Transgender Oregon Resident Earned Paycheck with Female Name While Collecting Social Security as Male

social security
AP/Bradly C. Bower

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon resident who transitioned to a woman more than three decades ago continued collecting Social Security disability checks under her male identity, fraudulently raking in $250,000.

Court records show Richelle McDonald was born Richard McDonald in 1945. In 1974, Richard claimed disability because he was unable to work after suffering a serious arm injury when hit by a San Francisco bus.

McDonald in the 1970s also applied for a separate Social Security number under the name Richelle. She worked under that name from the early 1980s until 2012 while continuing to collect disability payments as Richard.

McDonald pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud in December and was sentenced Monday to eight months of home confinement. She must also pay restitution.

The 70-year-old apologized in court.


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